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The global wood coatings market is set to pass a value of $1 billion by 2025, with a large growth forecast in the home sector and for construction purposes. Much of this expansion is driven by the desirability of wood as a renewable and lower carbon alternative to steel and concrete. Government initiatives such as LEEDS points scoring are further encouraging the use of wood, all of which require performance wood coatings to prolong service life.
Glassflake material can be used to combat blistering of performance wood coatings by two mechanisms: reduction in Moisture Vapour Transmission (MVT) and increase in coating dimensional stability. Layers of glassflake create a tortuous path to water vapour, preventing water vapour accumulating under the coating to form bubbles. This is especially apparent with thinner grades of glass flake, providing more layers of barrier in the film. The most commonly used of Glassflake’s materials is an ECR-glass composition, providing excellent chemical protection. The refractive index of glass flake is 1.52, an excellent match to many organic resins, allowing for use in a range of clear and pigmented coating systems.
Below we outline some of the most common uses for glassflake in wood coatings:
The protection of wooden furniture remains a high priority in many commercial and domestic settings. Coatings formulated with glassflake are an excellent route to providing this protection. For wood furniture coatings, exceptional chemical resistance is gained from use of ECR-type glassflake formulations. This protects wood from a wide variety of household materials, from harsh chemical cleaners in the kitchen, through to motor oils in the garage. With glassflake used in many clear systems, the protection is all offered with no detriment to the aesthetics of the piece.
There is an increasing global demand for the use of wood as a structural material. This comes in the form of bonded sections, often as a replacement for steel. With wood as a renewable resource, this comes as an environmental benefit, however, wood is susceptible to moisture and fire. The use of glassflake in coatings to protect these wood sections offers improved moisture resistance, preventing any swelling and weakening of the material. The layers of glassflake also increase the fire protection offered, especially crucial in maintaining the structural integrity of the wood in a fire.
With an increase in wood as a construction resource, more building exteriors of this material are exposed to the environment. This is most commonly the case with domestic storage sheds, fence panels and other garden buildings. This wood must withstand the vagaries of global weather, throughout the seasons. Glassflake use in coatings to protect construction timber provides improvements in water resistance and temperature stability.
Glassflake enhances the protection provided by many floor coating systems, especially those over a wood substrate. The many barrier layers formed in a glassflake filled coating offer an excellent resistance to moisture ingress, whether this is from pooling water or atmospheric moisture in a humid environment. Glassflake also improves the mechanical reinforcement of the coating, the hardness of the filler increasing the wear resistance—this can extend the lifetime of the coating for many years, even in high traffic areas.